As lockdown restrictions have eased, children are waiting to go back to their schools. To keep them protected, schools are still figuring out a way to start functioning yet keep the virus at bay. To aid them, the Union Health Ministry has laid down some guidelines for schools during COVID-19. Students, teachers and school personnel alike must follow these classroom safety tips to keep from harm.
1. Practice social distancing
Physical distancing is still the safest tool to battle COVID-19. Keep a distance of at least 1 meter (6-feet) from others at all times. Arrange desks maintaining the same space. For recess or lunch breaks, sit outside or in any spacious place instead of crowded food halls or rooms. Keep distance while doing physical and interactive activities. Try not to share your personal belongings with others.
2. Practice hygiene
Wash your hands at frequent intervals during school hours. Use soap and water for 20 seconds or an alcohol-based sanitizer, especially after coming in touch with surfaces like desks, seats, water bottles, books, doorknobs, etc. Sneeze or cough in your elbow instead of using your hands. In case you use your hands, wash or sanitize immediately. Refrain from touching your eyes, nose, mouth and face. Also, except while eating, wear your mask at all times.
3. Maintain a healthy environment
Teachers should ensure that the school personnel clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that come in regular touch. That includes desks, chairs, doors, doorknobs, windows, bookshelves, computers, and other shared items. Ensure that the classroom is large, properly ventilated, and air-filtered. You can also check exhaust ventilation systems or air conditioners in areas such as restrooms, labs, libraries and kitchens, etc.
4. Keep extra supplies
Keep an extra supply of masks, sanitizers, soaps, bottles, gloves, wipes, etc. in case children misplace or forget to carry their own. It is a good idea to have adequate protective essentials for teachers, staff and management of the school as well. Keep a first-aid kit at hand to attend to any injuries caused to children. Teachers can also keep PPEs and face shields; in case they need to teach classes with more children.
5. Check for COVID-19 symptoms
Teachers can keep a daily check on children’s temperatures and physical health. In case they spot any COVID-19 symptoms in a child, they should ensure that the child stays home. They can schedule extra or separate classes later or fix virtual lessons to keep the child up with the rest of the course. Stay up to date with a child’s family history with COVID-19. Encourage them to quarantine if any member of their family has symptoms of COVID-19—update children with classroom safety tips from time to time.
These guidelines for schools during COVID-19 might slow its spread but not reduce the entire risk of contraction. To prepare against the worst, get COVID insurance or health insurance providing COVID-19 coverage. Royal Sundaram’s Arogya Sanjeevani Policy and LifeLine Health Insurance provide extensive cover against the disease.